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Farm Bill Provision Will Disrupt MaineCare Program
Date:2/29/2008

grams to recipients, I can tell you first-hand how adversely impacted state governments will be if this provision passes," said former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges. "In South Carolina and other states, important services like Medicaid and Child Support Enforcement depend on commercial and non-profit support. We can't let Washington play politics with the administration of these vital programs."

All 50 states and the District of Columbia rely on non-profit and commercial organizations to assist in the process of administering means- tested programs, according to the study. A total of 309 social services programs in the United States are administered by private organizations, 207 of which involve private contracts for direct beneficiary services.

The Baca amendment (Section 4015) specifically requires that only state employees be involved in any part of the process of administering food stamps to beneficiaries. States will not be able to opt out of this anti- privatization measure, even if outsourced programs have been more cost- effective and resulted in more enrolled beneficiaries in their states.

The provision "would deprive states of needed flexibility, remove a significant means of innovation, bring to a halt many valuable programs now in place," said Larry Goolsby Director of Legislative Affairs for the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), a nonprofit, bipartisan organization of state and local human service agencies.

The Baca amendment is not included in the Senate version of the farm bill. The House and Senate must reconcile their versions of the bill before the President can sign a measure into law.

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